Family heirlooms

You’re trying your hardest not to smile. For months you’ve been waiting for this moment, holding off getting another job ’til the last minute. Another week and you’d have had to resign, no longer able to resist the pay increase, the drop in travelling, the bigger car. Now you have the new contract and redundancy, and you want to dance around the office… with Helena, had she still been here.

You feel sorry for Jeffrey, really you do. You weren’t here at the beginning but you’ve read it all, know the company’s history; the clichéd one-man-band’s rags to riches… and now back again.

Something tells you to pack slowly, despite you wanting just to throw it all in the box and leg it, go down the pub and start the bender you’ve been promising yourself for weeks. But for Jeffrey, you stay, place each item side-by-side as if family heirlooms, show them the respect you’ve shown your boss… ex-boss in… you look at the clock… fifteen minutes.

Finally the box is full. You debate whether to say ’til 5 but no-one else has, so you balance the box under your left arm, grab you jacket from the stand and head for Jeffrey’s office.

You knock on the door although you know you’re not interrupting.

“Night, Jeffrey,” you say and you’re sure you see tears in his eyes.


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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.